by Will Greer
Its 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 10, 1998, and several hundred teen
guys anxiously sit and wait to hear the next speaker. Its the third day of FCA
Athletic Camp in Estes Park, Colo., and the young men are getting to know each other and
The message theyre about to listen to will help speed up that
process. A 25-year-old professional football player will share his struggles and triumphs
on and off the gridiron. Whats more, hell humbly reveal that hes a
virgin and proud of it.
The guy taking the stage is Justin Armour, a wide receiver for the
Denver Broncos. After being signed as a free agent by the Broncos on Feb. 24,1998 he
mentions to the crowd that hes looking forward to being a part of the Super Bowl
championship team. But the one roster he loves most is the one hes got a spot on
The 6-foot-4,209-pound athlete is strong enough to realize Gods
plan for his life is best. Justin receives recognition for being a virgin in a sport where
sex outside of marriage is easily available and often accepted.
"Temptations are easily available to those who look for them. But
if you dont make yourself available to those women who would take advantage of you,
they rarely approach you. I encourage young people to make the decision to be abstinent
before they go out into the battlefields of life. If you dont decide beforehand,
youll lose the fight.
"I believe what Jesus says about sexual purity is true. The
conviction I have to remain a virgin until marriage is a deep one, but not any more than
the belief I have that one day Jesus will return," says Justin.
Recognizing he cant win the war alone, Justin has chosen to have
open discussion with a few Christian men. He needs others to walk with him on his journey
"Theres a whole lot more to being abstinent than not having
sex, its a lifestyle. Ive got a couple of Christian friends who hold me
accountable for my actions. I can be completely transparent in front of them."
Justins life may look trouble free at first glance, but hes
been through some fiery trials. The reason he continues to move forward in his faith is
because hes depended on Gods Word in times of crisis and calm. Preparing
during the off-season applies not only to his on-the-field performance, but also to his
spiritual depth and stamina.
His parents divorced when he was 8 years old, and his older brother,
Jason, died from a heroin overdose at a party in February of 1996. Jason was 26.
"No one is immune to the pain that sin causes in the world,"
says Justin. "The winds blow and things can get miserable but the bottom line is that
I know my salvation and future is strong."
Rather than running from God, Justin has clung tightly to his faith in
ChristWhom he chose to follow as a sophomore at Manitou Springs (Colo.) High School.
After graduating as class president, valedictorian and a consensus All-American in
football, he obtained a public policy degree at Stanford University. While in college he
also set a school record with 2,482 receiving yards in his career.
A fourth-round draft pick by Buffalo in 1995, Justin ranked fourth as a
receiver for the Bills with 26 receptions for 300 yards. He was inactive for the first 11
games in 96 with an injured left foot, then placed on the injured reserve list for
the rest of the season.
After being released by the Bills on Aug. 24, 1997, he was picked up by
Philadelphia on Sept. 23. He was released by the Eagles four days later, then re-signed on
Sept. 30. Justin spent six games on the inactive list, and was waived on Nov. 4. San
Francisco picked him up on Dec. 29, where he spent the entire post-season on the inactive
Now the No. 3 wide receiver for Denver, hes seeing considerable
playing time. He ranked second in receptions for the Broncos during the pre-season with 10
catches for 174 yards. His longest grab was a 48-yard touchdown against New Orleans.
Being on several teams has taught Justin a thing or two.
"I dont always have to agree with my teammates on
everything. Even as diverse as everyone is, through showing others respect, they show me
respect. The last thing I need to do as a believer is to judge someone else. The job God
has given me is to love people. His job is to save and correct them.
"My goal is to love others. Thats what Jesus did to
Reprinted by permission Victory Magazine.